my aunt called me from the cafe around 11:30am, said she needed bean sprouts. i'd bought some just 2 days ago, but she said she needed more. she suggested i could go across the street to star market, but when i checked their bean sprouts came in small bags that were more expensive and seemed expired. i decided to drive down to market basket to pick up a bag then go directly to the cafe. i got to the cafe a little bit after noontime. i went to my grand uncle's place to give him his lunch. he seemed calmer today, because my sister and i let him eat while i let hailey out in the back to use the bathroom. periodically i'd check from behind the door to see if my grand uncle had finished eating or not. once he was done, i took the tray of empty dishes back to the cafe.

from the cafe i drove directly to the super 88 supermarket in malden. it took me more than half an hour to drive 5 miles. my original plan was to return the car in belmont then bike down to the chinatown. the main thing i needed to get was the tea egg spices. but i realized i could also get them from super 88, and then hit one of the many fast food joints nearby for lunch, like wendy's or popeye's. besides the flavor packets, i also got some asian pears and some snacks.

afterwards to drove to popeye's. the 8-piece family meal was $13, but the cashier gave me the family meal with extras, which ended up costing me $20. i got some cajun fries (large) and the combo also came with 4 biscuits, which i didn't really want. that stretch of revere beach parkway is hard to navigate, and i ended up doing a u-turn on vine street to get back on the route 16 going in the opposite direction towards home.

popeye has always been that other fried chicken chain, an alternative to the ubiquitous kentucky fried chicken. around here, kfc is more common, although fried chicken chains as a whole are being pushed out in favor of heathier fast food franchises like subway. when i first moved into the neighborhood, there was a popeye in porter square, which closed soon afterwards. at the intersection of walden-mass ave and hampshire-prospect there used to be KFC's but both have disappeared. the last time i ate at popeye's was on a trip to new york city back in 2011. as for the last time i ate at a kfc, would you believe it was on the other side of the world, in my old haunt changshou back in may 2016. they were opening up a kfc right when my one year tour of duty in chongqing was up so i never got to eat there. so last year when i revisited changshou, i vowed to visit that kfc. it wasn't anything spectacular, but the fact that i traveled thousands of miles just to eat there made it special.

as the case anytime i eat fried chicken, the moment after i finish i felt gross and swore off fried chicken for the foreseeable future. but i'm sure after a few months i'll have that craving again.

i finally brought up all my indoor grow house equipment from the basement. i actually have half a dozen shop lights at this point, but i knew one of them had a busted ballast that made the lights dim. unfortunately i never marked which one so i had to test them one by one. i knew i had a T8 fluorescent strip light i got recently, but i completely forgot that i actually have two (purchased 150409 and 150410). besides the lights, i also brought up the plastic cafeteria trays i use to hold my pots, as well as the buckets of gravel that line the bottom.

i made 30 tea eggs. i followed the recipe i used a little more than 3 weeks ago. because it was a bit salty, i only used 3 tbsp of salt this time (instead of 4 tbsp) and i remembered to add 1 tsp of sugar to counterbalance the saltiness. it may end up being not salty enough, in which case it's an easy matter of adding a bit more sodium to the brine. i wonder if i made too much, but they're easy to make, and the ingredients are inexpensive as well (18 eggs were 99¢ a pack when they were on sale), so it makes sense to make a bunch.

i noticed the shells were really loose this time around, which can be bad because then the eggs don't get that nice tea egg marbling pattern on the egg white, and egg while just be a solid brown color. it still tastes the same, but not pretty to look at. i will save those broken shelled eggs for myself and gave the good ones for me aunt to sell at the cafe.

around 8:30pm i was hungry enough to eat a few more pieces of fried chicken, along with a salty biscuit, and a box of soggy cajun fries.

karen didn't get home until after 10pm. she told me a few days ago that she'd be attending a women's day event in boston with her coworkers. she told me there was just 200 protestors, not nearly as many as the immigrant protest we walked into one sunday in copley square.

i talked with my father over video chat with his unlimited taiwanese data plan. he was walking up the hill to my grandmother's grave. he told me that the xiaomi redmi note 3 is essentially dead because it can't be charged up anymore, and the repair shop wouldn't fix it. he's currently using his coolpad dashen F1 (running android 4.x). he said he might take the redmi to the local xiaomi store and see if they might have a solution. he also told me that my dagugu's husband passed away back in november.

i took readings of my various shop lights with the wattage meter:

luminaire middle56.1W
luminaire side45.7W
T8 back58.5W
T8 front58.6W

the silver shop light consumes the least amount of power at 39.6W. this may sound like a good thing, but it means it's not as bright as the other lights which use more power. of my two sets of matching luminaire shop lights, one is 56.1W while the other is just 45.7W. 56.1W is very close to the two T8's, which both consume about the same amount of power at 58.6W. that means i should retire the silver light. but i want to switch the fluorescent tubes to see if that will make any difference in the wattage (i personally think it won't, that the reason why some lights use less power is because of an aging ballast that needs to be replaced).